Built of hemp, France’s Pierre Chevet sports hall may become a carbon sink


Located in Croissy-Beaubourg, France, the Pierre Chevet sports hall is made from hempcrete (a mix of hemp, lime, and water) blocks and has become the world’s very first carbon-negative public building.

According to Darshil Shah of Cambridge's Centre for Natural Material Innovation, hemp may capture carbon twice as well as trees. Furthermore, as Hemp Industry Daily pointed out, research has proved that hemp is one of the best carbon dioxide-to-biomass converters. It's even more efficient than planting trees. Per hectare of growing, industrial hemp absorbs between 8 and 15 tonnes of carbon dioxide. Hemp can reach a height of 13 feet (4 meters) in 90 to 120 days. It grows 100 times faster than an oak tree and is lighter and less expensive than wood.

Lemoal Lemoal, the studio that built Pierre Chevet sports hall, told media that the primary issue with hemp was making clients believe that it is a viable alternative to concrete, because a hemp wall appears more rustic and less sophisticated than concrete. Hempcrete is now more expensive than concrete, but thanks to its insulating capabilities, it may be more cost effective in the long run by lowering energy expenditures.

The building's walls are made of hempcrete blocks, which possesses thermal, acoustic, and fire-resistant qualities. The blocks are subsequently clad in cement panels to protect the wall from the elements.

Building materials account for 11% of worldwide carbon emissions. As the construction sector seeks to reduce its carbon footprint, scientists, architects, and manufacturers are looking for natural alternatives. Beside Hemp, many other biomaterials such as mycelium and algae are gaining recognition as the world's most sustainable materials.

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